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“Unforgettable travel to Holbox and the best place to stay”

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Hotel Casa Palapas del Sol
Ranked #1 of 34 Holbox Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
DF
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Unforgettable travel to Holbox and the best place to stay”
Reviewed 2 January 2014

We have booked the stay at Palapas del Sol 8 months in advance, so the expectation was great and we did not get less than expected. Las Palapas is quite distant from the city center, but the walk pays off the peace of the place, where you can get diconnected from all the city noises and just enjoy the noise of the sea waves. I was very pleased with the size of our palapa, nicely decored in Holbox style with dream catchers and you can also find your towels in shape of birds. We could easily get into our palapa with my 2 years old child stuff, her little travelling bed and we still had a lot of space! The hotel has a very good restaurant, so if you do not wish to get out of your hamacs, you can eat very well, at reasonable prices. The cook is famous in the town and she prepares all types of mayan dishes, every one we tried from the "langosta al mojo de ajo" to fish in mngo sauce was simply delicious. The hotel team - Martin, Jose, el Topo - all is dedicated to attend the guests and they always seek you are comfortable. Also, we had the chance to meet the owner Adriana, she knows everything about Holbox and Yucatan and she arranged us the transfer form Cancun Airport to the island. Thank you. Adriana, Martín, Estela, Sheila and Topo, for all your attentions and we hope to come back soon because thanks to Palapas del Sol, we got in love with Holbox.

Room Tip: Orange palapa is one of the newest and the most spacious if you travel with kids
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Barbs86Df
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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237 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013

We had the pleasure of a return trip and were not disappointed.

We tried a new twist this time and - with the gracious support of the Hotel owner Adrianna - we arranged for pick-up at the airport in Cancun and then rode in a private taxi all the way to our favorite island getaway.

The price needs to be arranged but we paid around 1500 pesos including tip and ferry for two people to get there on the same day we flew in.

I'd do it again - it saves money right away because you don't need to arrange for an overnight in expensive Cancun hotel and - best ever - you wake up the next day right on the beach in Holbox and are treated to a wonderful breakfast to start your vacation getaway.

Anyway - we are of two minds in sharing - this might be so popular that we have trouble getting back! But here you go - I'm spilling the beans.

Go and enjoy - but remember its a quiet little seaside paradise so please respect it and don't tell anybody else ok?

Room Tip: Ask Martin for one of his killer Margaritas - then sit back, sip it and enjoy the beach life
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Oceantech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stratford, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2013

We spent a wonderful three days at Palapas del sol and could not have been happier with our
choice. The beach was lovely plenty of beds,loungers hammocks and tables for you drink.
The hotel is small and being so lend to a feeling of family. The communal dining table promotes
the building o friendship among guests,the staff is friendly, helpful and does all the possibly can
to ensure your stay is perfect. Martin the manager/bartender/entertainment director/do it all person is a true asset to the hotel.Our room was small but very comfortable with a king size bed
(we were on the top floor with palapa roof thus allowing for a beautiful chaffon drape canopy
with beautiful light fixture. The island itself is the perfect place to get away from it all for
a short amount of time living on Isla Mujeres six months of the year going to Holbox showed us what Isla was 40 years ago. I shall remain on Isla but for total decompression Holbox fits the bill.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank beachball81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 October 2013

Thank you to the wonderful Palapas Del Sol family. Our stay was picture perfect and we were treated with hospitality, warmth and generosity.

This lovely, small retreat from the world is hosted by Samuel and Estella who work incredibly hard to keep you comfortable, fed like royalty yet feeling part of their extended family. Martin is incredible and was always there for us, making sure we were happy and that all our needs were attended to, always with a smile. I promise to return.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Krakow, Poland
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

We spent four nights at Palapas del Sol and this place is amazing. The hotel is pretty and very clean, also it is very small and the beach is empty which makes you feel as if you have really rented a house, and not a room in a hotel. The staff is amazing, and treat you like family. Martin is a very good host, and Estela prepares best dishes on the island. The breakfasts are delicious. The hotel has the best beach on the island, and it is situated only within 15 minutes walking distance from the center of the island. There are no disadvantages - this place is a pure paradise.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Zofia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mexico City, Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2013

The whole stay at Palapas del Sol has been amazing.
The kindness of the staff was a huge contribution, special thanks to Martin.
The onsite food is simply delicious, a lot of exotic fruits, cocktails, coconuts
The location of the hotel on the island was perfect for us, slightly away from the centre which gives a good feeling of being lonely on the island, though walking 10 minutes on the beach will lead you straight to the main place.
Excellent value for money for the hotel, food and drinks

I definitely recommend this hotel.
Big thanks to the team once again

Room Tip: Front beach rooms offer an amazing view.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
3 Thank ClementNowak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palos Heights, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2013

Reading other travelers' reviews of Casa Palapas del Sol, I find it difficult to write anything that has not already been written about this charming hotelito....but never at a loss for words, I'll try!

My husband and I booked a room at Casa Palapas del Sol for 8 nights in mid-July 2013. Desiring a small hotel that offered complete peace and quiet, Casa Palapas del Sol fitted our needs perfectly. The tiny inn is pleasant with a laid back atmosphere inviting one to relax and let the cares of the world drift away. It is a place from which we truly did not wish to depart.

Unlike nearby overbuilt Cancun, Holbox accommodations are tiny hotelitos that are generally built on a small scale. Keeping with that tradition, Casa Palapas del Sol offers two-unit, two story bungalows. The bungalows sport thatched roofs along with inviting hammocks on the shady porches. This is NOT the Ritz but rather a pleasant, friendly and spotlessly clean inn that I frankly find much more appealing than upmarket marble-and-glass hotels. If you crave a Clefs d'Or concierge and Four Seasons' elegance, Casa Palapas del Sol and frankly, Holbox is not the place for you.

No mass tourism has arrived in Holbox....at least not yet. For that I and other travelers on Holbox Island are thankful. Rumor has it a developer wishes to put in a massive concrete and steel, gated All-Inclusive-Cancun-esque hotel complex but that project has been stalled or shelved for some reason. To a person, every local we spoke with in Holbox is vehemently opposed to the introduction of mass tourism on the island. It's safe here, one can walk the beach at night without fear of being robbed, bicycles left outside a house at night are there in the morning, everyone knows everyone else, the pressure of rampant high rise construction has not yet wrecked the local ecosystem and so on. People who call Holbox home treasure the laid back atmosphere and have no desire for it to change.

Locals are friendly and hospitable in Holbox but that's a reflection of small town Mexico as well as Mexicans in general. Casa Palapas del Sol's owners are nice, extremely hardworking people, always quick with a friendly smile while doing all they can to ensure their guests' comfort. Shy, talented Stella created excellent meals that were as good as any dinners we enjoyed in town. Martin was very helpful, always bustling around taking care of this or that while ever helpful with suggestions, answers to questions or booking excursions or transfers. The staff aims to please; on two occasions we wanted to engage a golf cart taxi to town we were thoughtfully offered the opportunity to ride along with the family to el centro in their golf cart rather than bother with a taxi. That's just another example of how accommodating the hotel owners and staff are.

Town is a short stroll away, about 10" to 15" minutes by the sandy road or beach. A golf cart taxi to town is reasonably priced (in summer, 2013, about US $4-$5 per ride). If walking at night, bring a headlamp or flashlight to illuminate one's path. A few lights are scattered along the road but unless there is a full moon or a passing golf cart taxi's headlamps light up the road, it can be very dark out there. Unlike where most of us live, there is little ambient light from buildings or street lights; the stars overhead are generally the only lights at night.

As of July 2013 Casa Palapas del Sol has a sweet little dog, Cubita. She was often found near my feet asking for a hip rub (Cubita is very old now but ultra affectionate; she likes to beg for her favorite meal of fish although this behavior is discouraged by the inn). Personally I love a property that is dog friendly. We met a family from Cozumel who chose to stay at Casa Palapas since their canine companion was welcome there.

Both my husband and I enjoyed our daily ritual of lounging in hammocks underneath a thatched beach palapa near the azure water, counting the flamingos that winged past or spotting the occasional dolphin swimming farther out to sea. The only traffic consisted of a few people coming and going past the hotel on bikes or just walking by with the occasional golf cart thrown into the mix. Mercifully there are no beach hawkers bothering guests at Casa Palapas del Sol. It's ultra-quiet; as of this writing there are no beach bars with throbbing music keeping hotel guests awake all night long. All you'll hear at Casa Palapas del Sol are waves and gentle breezes at night. Nighttime skies are not marred by ambient light so stars leap out of the velvety blackness, twinkling as they light up the night sky. When thunderclouds prowled about the area we enjoyed sitting on the beach watching the light show over the mainland as the storms rumbled toward Holbox.

As others have mentioned in their reviews, one thing to be aware of is that Holbox suffers from a plethora of mosquitos and no see 'ums in summertime (not so sure if this it the case in wintertime). Mosquitos abound, particularly at dawn and dusk but one can use repellent to dissuade the little buggers from bothering you. Bring insect repellent with you. If you forget to pack bug juice Casa Palapas del Sol keeps a basket of insect spray or cream on hand for guests' use. The no see 'ums aka sand fleas are really horrid. They seem particularly voracious at dawn and dusk. Apply insect repellent liberally or you'll scratch, swat yourself and look as if you have a nervous tic to end all nervous tics. Ceiling fans and a room air conditioner keep the little demons at bay in the rooms. Fortunately during the night sleeping was very comfortable. During July we had to keep our room's glass windows closed for the no see 'ums can pass right through the screens on the windows with ease. Unfortunately we could not spend much time on our room's porch unless coated in insect repellant due to pesky mosquitos. One fellow guest wisely brought along a little fan that contained insect repellant that was useful during dinner service at Casa Palapas del Sol. In the USA, one can buy OFF personal fan insect repellent units but I am uncertain whether these can easily be found in Holbox.

Rooms at Casa Palapas del Sol are on the small side with a bed, some dressers with drawers and an en suite bathroom. Housekeeping kept our room spotless. Upon checking in, one finds towels fashioned into elephants, butterflies, or birds on the bed in one's room along with brightly colored flower petals arranged into hearts or some other happy design. Shells are popular at Casa Palapas del Sol; our room's shower sported a huge shell (it looks like a Neptune's trumpet) that served as the shower spigot. Seashells turn up in many different places as nightstand lights, beach shower heads, pathway lighting, etc. One small complaint about our room is that lighting was not very bright. There were only two large shell lights to illuminate our room, a very romantic feature at night. However, if one had to delve into one's suitcase, backpack or whatever, a head lamp brought from home was just the ticket. Also, the way our room was arranged, one side of the bed had no bed table or lamp so once again the headlamp was useful for reading in bed at night.

One takes meals at Casa Palapas del Sol at the communal dining table in the open air bar/reception/lounge area. Included in the room rate, breakfasts were filling, with a large bowl of sliced fruits, toast, orange juice, coffee or tea and a cooked dish. I adored the huevos rancheros while my husband was partial to flavorful scrambled eggs with cheese and ham.

With one exception (a too dry paella) dinners were delicious at the hotel, simple but very fresh and well-prepared to order. Fresh fish of the day from local waters was a daily treat for evening meals. Since all is prepared from scratch, when dining at Casa Palapas del Sol one is requested to inform the staff of their meal preference at least one hour prior to when one wishes to dine. A couple of times we sampled restaurants in town but since the food is so good at Palapas del Sol we chose to dine there frequently. Cold drinks in hand, it was just too appealing to watch Technicolor sunsets from the beach while the sun sank into the sea before walking back a short distance to the hotel's open air dining room. Frequently several other couples or families joined us for dinner but there were also rare times when we had the table pretty much to ourselves. An international group of travelers comes to Palapas del Sol; Americans, English, French, Spaniards, Germans, Mexicans, Australians. After a few days of bumping into each other or dining together, the atmosphere lends itself to being part of one big, happy, relaxed family.

As with other restaurants in Holbox, thankfully at Casa Palapas del Sol we encountered zero tummy troubles when eating uncooked salad greens, veggies and other raw foods. In fact the only people we encountered who complained of being ill mentioned they became sick in Cancun or Cozumel, never Holbox.

Speaking of families, Casa Palapas del Sol is family friendly. Not being kid-oriented adults, "child-friendly" acommodations generally send my husband and me running as fast as our feet can take us in the opposite direction. Surprisingly, having a few children around at laid back Casa Palapas del Sol never was annoying or disruptive.

I enjoyed the hotel's Honor Bar system. Just take something out of the cooler in the kitchen if one needs a Coke, beer, bottle of water or wine. Then mark what you took with a hash mark on a sheet in the kitchen. This worked perfectly as we did not have to purchase and transport beverages back to the hotel from town. No prices were written down so we had no idea what our bill would be until checking out but I can assure you the prices were more than reasonable for our drinks.

I miss gazing out to sea toward water that is a light aqua hue nearest shore, morphing into a deeper turquoise before meeting the deep blue of the ocean's deeper water. Think soothing Caribbean colors and you have it. White powdery sand is comprised of crushed limestone. Cool to the feet one doesn't have to hotfoot it across the sand. However, the sand is clingy, sticking to wet feet. We tried to be very careful to not track sand into guest areas or our room but the sand is ever present. Removing shoes before entering our room helped keep the floor clean.

Wifi is included in the room rate. Our Internet connection worked quite well with a good connection although sometimes the wifi failed or was out of service for a short time. That being the case, I was nonetheless very happy to be able to access email or surf the web in this out of the way location.

A big plus is that laundry can be washed by the staff at Casa Palapas del Sol. It's sultry, hot and extremely humid in mid-July so freshly laundered clothing and wetsuits dried by the sun are a welcome luxury.

Casa Palapas del Sol can pre-arrange one's transfers to and from Cancun's airport or hotel district. A clean, private van/ferry/golf cart taxi transfer cost us US $100 one way for our party of two. We paid as well as tipped our driver directly (he accepted either pesos or American dollars). All was straightforward and easy.

Following are a couple other tips for travel to Holbox...

--Bring a head lamp (electricity can go out, there might not be a reading lamp on a bedstand near your bed, you may wish to use it for walking at night, etc).

--Pack a rubber disk sink stopper in your luggage. We found ours invaluable for use when soaking underwater camera housings in fresh water in the stopperless bathroom sink after whale shark tours.

--Money in Holbox...there are a couple of ATMs but they are often out of money. A money change operation limits what one can change into pesos. We took out pesos from a reliable bank ATM at the Cancun airport (the ATMs accept Visa and Mastercard and are located just outside of Customs). Remember, the amount you request from the ATM must be entered as pesos so it's helpful to figure out how many pesos you need in advance of using the ATM. We found we received a more favorable exchange rate when using pesos rather than dollars in Holbox. Some hotels, restaurants and stores accept credit cards; one can pay their bill at Casa Palapas del Sol with a credit card. BTW, when arriving at the Cancun airport after Immigration and Customs you will have to wend your way through a hall filled with pushy men asking "My friend, what is your name?" or "What is your hotel?" Ignore them! They are selling Time Shares. If you make the mistake of talking to one of them, the next thing you know you'll be whisked away to somewhere you do not want to go. If you have set up a prearranged transfer, keep walking through the door of the airport to where your driver will be waiting outside with your name emblazoned on a placard!

--The transfer from Holbox to Cancun (this involves a 2-to 3-hour drive via good two lane roads Cancun to Chiquila, a half-hour ferry from Chiquila to Holbox Island and finally a golf cart taxi from the Holbox dock to your hotelito) takes 4-5 hours depending upon traffic. In particular, if you have an early morning flight you may wish to book your last night in Cancun or Playa del Carmen to be sure you are not arriving at the Cancun airport with minutes to spare before checking in for your flight. Spending that final night close to the airport also cuts any anxiety about arriving at the airport on time for your flight's check in, providing you with some relaxing rest before heading to the airport the next day for your homebound flight. One minor glitch occurred for us when we transferred from Holbox to Cancun on our last day of the trip. All went smoothly till we arrived at the Chiquila ferry dock. A driver was prearranged to be waiting for us with a sign bearing our name. There was only one name listed on a sign, something that did not resemble our name in the least. We hung about a little bit, noting that no one appeared to be walking up to the increasingly worried-looking man holding the sign. There was no one around who spoke any English either. After a few missteps I dredged up some rudimentary Spanish that helped sort everything out. We all had a good laugh when we all figured out the mystery name belonged to us. Sigh....I have no idea how that got so mangled. Anyway, as difficult as it is to leave tiny welcoming Holbox, these little mix ups are another reason I suggest returning to Cancun or Playa del Carmen one day ahead of time if connecting to a flight.

--Many people in Holbox speak marginal English so it's helpful to have a few Spanish phrases or words down pat.

It is easy to slip into a manana attitude when in Holbox. Casa Palapas del Sol is a great little hotelito that will help you quickly readjust your attitude to island time, melting your cares away.

Room Tip: Reserve early and request an oceanfront room for best views of the water.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank Whalegeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Casa Palapas del Sol

Property: Hotel Casa Palapas del Sol
Address: Paseo Kuka | Playa Norte, Holbox Island 77310, Mexico (Formerly Hotel Casa Palapas del Sol)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Holbox Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Holbox Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Casa Palapas del Sol 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Casa Palapas del Sol is an ocean front beach hotel intimate and quiet with 16 rooms. All rooms have air-conditioning, private entrances, bathrooms and balconies or terraces with hammocks and seating area. A relaxed beach retreat for barefoot island living. Authentic and genuine Mayan hosts with the intention to make you feel at home At Palapas del Sol and in the restaurant the freshest local ingredients available on the island are used to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. A beach front pool, beach palapas with hammocks and king size beach beds invite you to enjoy this so privileged spot. We happily assist our guests with transfers, tours, spa and beauty services, romantic dinners on the beach, honeymoon suite available. ... more   less 
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